Four outstanding former Guard Soldiers have been chosen to enter the prestigious Wisconsin Army National Guard Hall of Honor.
A special committee of current and past Guard Soldiers selected retired Brig. Gen. Kerry Denson of Lake Mills, Wis., retired Brig. Gen. James Krueck of McFarland, Wis., retired Col. Timothy Pfrang of Sussex, Wis., and retired Col. David Schumacher of Onalaska, Wis., to receive one of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's highest honors for exceptional achievement and devotion to duty.
They join the ranks of 46 individuals previously inducted into the Hall of Honor.
Denson was drafted into the U.S. Army in December 1965, earning the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 35 Air Medals and the Purple Heart during two tours in Vietnam as a UH-1 combat pilot. He joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard after completing his active duty service, and served in a variety of command and staff assignments. He commanded the 147th Attack Helicopter Battalion, served as director of aviation for the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and served the final nine years of his career as commander of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Denson's military career spanned 40 years and 10 months.
Krueck enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1966. He reached the rank of staff sergeant before being appointed as a warrant officer in 1975. He completed Officer Candidate School in 1976 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of armor in 1978. He held a variety of command and staff assignments in the 32nd Infantry Brigade headquarters; 1st Battalion, 632nd Armor; 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery; 13th Evacuation Hospital; and the 64th Troop Command before becoming deputy director of personnel and administration for the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1994. Krueck then served as director of personnel and administration, director of human resources, director of logistics, and chief of staff at State Headquarters. He commanded the 32nd Infantry Brigade for six years beginning in October 2000. He was promoted to brigadier general in 2004. He deployed to Kuwait as commander of the 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade (Light) and deputy commander of the 377th Theater Support Command in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He commanded the Wisconsin Army National Guard from November 2006 until his retirement in February 2008. His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal and two Meritorious Service Medals.
Pfrang enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1971, and enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1974. He received his commission in 1977 and, after graduating Infantry Officer Basic Course in 1978, was assigned as a platoon leader in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry. He held a variety of staff and command assignments at the battalion and brigade level until assuming command of the 132nd Support Battalion in July 1996. He was assigned as the Wisconsin Army National Guard mobilization readiness officer in October 1998, the operations and training officer in late 2000 and the director of plans and operations in 2002. He was promoted to colonel in October 2002.His military awards include the Legion of Merit and two Meritorious Service Medals.
Schumacher joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard in June 1967 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1969. As training officer for the 426th Engineer Battalion he developed professional development programs for junior officers and was rated the top field grade officer in the 264th Engineer Group. During his time as commander, the 426th Engineer Battalion earned the Eisenhower Trophy and Superior Unit Award, oversaw the mobilization of the 229th Engineer Company and deployed to Panama in 1992 in support of Fortes Caminos. During this time Schumacher also served on the Fort McCoy Facility Review Committee, which eventually led to relocating the Wisconsin Military Academy from Camp Williams to Fort McCoy in 1995. He commanded the Wisconsin Military Academy and the 426th Regiment from 1992 until his retirement in 1997, and led the academy through a period of significant growth and transition. Throughout his career Schumacher was regarded as among the best officers of his rank, and his military awards include the Legion of Merit and two Meritorious Service Medals.
A public induction ceremony will be held May 5 at 10 a.m. in Witmer Hall, Joint Force Headquarters in Madison.